The group is the staff of WPPI and Rangefinder Magazine, taken by Alan Karlin and I'm guessing it was 2007 or '08. I think Gennie Kiuchi and Marlene Gurley are the only two missing. It was taken after the awards program the last night of WPPI that year. However, this is more than just a "Throwback Thursday" post, because it was Bill Hurter's birthday last week and without Bill, the awards program would never have been the classic evening it became.
Note: This is also one of the first "photo-bombs" by Jerry Ghionis, long before it became an industry standard. He was just ahead of his time! LOL
Bill is the one under the red arrow and to this day remains one of the finest editors-in-chief to ever be a part of the photographic industry. He's somebody all of you new photographers need to know. Most of you seasoned veterans already have him in your network, even though in the last couple years he's been out of the spotlight.
I'm given a lot of credit from time to time for building WPPI and RF into the powerhouse they became, but in all honesty, it was a team effort all the way. Rangefinder Magazine eventually made it to over 350 pages back in those days. In fact, although it struggles to break a hundred pages today, we pretty much ran 250+ consistently in the last years Bill was driving the bus.
What made the magazine so amazing was Bill's understanding of the industry and his ability to find creative stories, over and over again. The magazine was put together manually in a monthly meeting where the team laid it out page by page on steel walls with magnets and sheets of paper. It was this same crew who put their heart and soul into every convention along with 100+ passionate volunteers.
Just to share a little of the back story...Bill and I had known each other from his days as Editor of Petersen's Photographic when I joined WPPI in 2001. I joined Rangefinder/WPPI as President and Bill was convinced I was out to replace him. In fact, we had a couple of pretty serious battles in the beginning, but here's what happened. The more we worked together, the better we understood each other and the more we accomplished. Bill became a terrific friend.
My senior management team then was Bill, George Varanakis and Arlene Evans. We'd do double secret meetings over lunch and come up with some of the most amazing programs and ways to fine-tune WPPI and the magazine. To this day, the group you see pictured above is one of the finest, hardest working team I've ever been associated with.
Here's my point this morning...so many of you are new to the industry and have no idea about the personalities and dedication of the people who have blazed a trail for you...people who have helped build this industry for what it is today. Bill Hurter is one of those people.
He's an artist, a terrific writer with 40+ books to his name and best of all, one of the most respected people in photography. He might be retired, but over and over again he was responsible for so many key events including the entire platform of speakers at WPPI each year, print competition and one article after another, right through until he retired around 2010.
So, Mr. Bill, I found this picture while searching for the images of you and the Marilyn Monroe not-so-look-alike spoof we had come to the office for your birthday one year. I never did find the images I was looking for, but it doesn't matter. The purpose of Throwback Thursday is to literally get the memory juices flowing.
Who says you can never go back?
We love ya buddy - Happy Birthday!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.